A bill passed through New Zealand parliament yesterday, banning the use and enforcement of software patents. This prevents software developers from monopolizing specific designs and concepts in the country.
The bill was approved on its third reading in parliament by a margin of 117 votes for and only four against it. It repeals New Zealand’s Patents Act 1953, which “has a low threshold for patentability compared with most other countries,” according to the bill. The low threshold can “discourage innovation and inhibit growth in productivity and exports,” by allowing software developers to prevent other creators from using any broad design ideas they have secured a patent for.
Manager of PikPok, New Zealands largest game developer, Mario Wynands praised the bill in an interview with GamePlanet.
“The software patent ban in New Zealand is a great step towards the legal system and government in general supporting the software industry, and is a sign of recognition for how software innovation actually occurs,” Wynands said, in part.